Ireland needs to reject structural funds’ conditionality: Reilly
Sinn Fein’s EU Spokesperson Senator Kathryn Reilly has said the Irish government needs to reject any so-called macro-economic conditionality being placed on the EU’s future structural funds spending.
Senator Reilly was speaking after it emerged that a number of EU countries are pushing for a change in the rules that would allow for a suspension of future EU structural funds if any country fails to meet certain strict economic criteria in-line with the rules contained in the Austerity Treaty.
“This change, if it comes to pass, will be another retrograde step by the EU. The structural funds are designed as instruments of solidarity and also benefit the entire EU by boosting the size of the market. EU funding should not be used as an instrument of punishment. This step is another potential mechanism by which a single, failed economic policy can be forced upon others and the Irish government needs to stand up and reject it.
“There are many projects up and down the island which can only operate because of EU money be it through the ESF or PEACE or other funds. This move could see those projects and their workers thrown into jeopardy for something completely beyond their control. These projects need certainty. There are already very stringent rules which can see funding suspended if there are questions of fraud or misuse and that is only right. These new proposals are purely political however and should be thrown out.”